At the beginning of the blog, I mentioned that I will compare with U.S.A and China, what is the difference between their Public Relations. In China, the Public Relations is more highlight about “relationships”. There is an old saying in China, “太上贵德，其次务施报。礼尚往来，往而不来，非礼也;来而不往，亦非礼也。人有礼则安，无礼则危，故曰，礼者不可不学也.” That was from Li Ji, the basic meaning is “In the highest antiquity they prized good; in the time next to this, and repaying was the thing attended to. And what the rules of propriety value is that reciprocity. If I give a gift and nothing comes in return, that is contrary to propriety; if the thing comes to me, and I give nothing in return, that also is contrary to propriety”. That implies that for both two sides, they want mutual benefits and interests to continue the relationships. And they call relationship “Guan xi” in Chinese.
Another important thing when you work in China, “Mian zi面子” is also important. “Mian zi” means “Face”. China’s more traditional society indeed places a great deal of importance on Face within society, business, and politics. However it can be difficult for Westerners to understand the specific rules relating to Face in China, as well as the different contexts where it should be used. Face is very visible in the Chinese business environment and plays an important role in inter- and intra-company communication, business negotiations, and the development and maintenance of relationships. In China, company hierarchy is much more important than in many Western countries. Not only are leadersand managers placed on a higher pedestal, but the distinction between different levels of management is much clearer and more important(https://chinaculturecorner.com/2013/10/10/face-in-chinese-business/).
As we can see, the relationships in China is not simple to deal with. It is not enough for a person just has a strong and good operational capability, she or he also needs to have a good communication skills to deal with “face” and “guan xi”.